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World Geothermal Congress 2023

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Situation of Geothermal Energy In Mexico: Country Update

The current situation of geothermal energy in Mexico has not changed much since the last country update report presented in the WGC2020+1. The geothermal-electric installed capacity as of December 2021, was 1001.9 MWe, with the running capacity at 958.9 MWe operating in the five geothermal fields of Cerro Prieto, B.C., Los Azufres, Mich., Los Humeros, Pue., Las Tres Vírgenes, B.C.S, and Domo San Pedro, Nay. There was one additional power plant commissioned in 2019 and some were decommissioned, but the geothermal operating capacity presents only a modest increase of 11.1 MWe over the 947.8 MWe reported three years ago. Cerro Prieto continues to be the largest field in Mexico and the second worldwide, with 570 MWe in operation, and the Domo de San Pedro field is still the only operating field privately owned and handled in the country. One additional field, located at the central state of Guanajuato, has been under exploration by another private company, including exploration drilling, with promising results so far, and the exploitation concession granted by the energy ministry. The other known geothermal field, Cerritos Colorados in the State of Jalisco, with a probable reserve of 75 MWe and granted to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, remains in stand-by. Geothermal heating and cooling (or direct) uses are sub-utilized in Mexico, with an estimated 153.7 MW of thermal power operating in hot pools and spas, one agricultural application and some geothermal heat pumps installed in 2018 as part of small demonstration projects. Geothermal roadmaps published in 2017-2018 expect 1670 MWe of geothermal power by 2030 from conventional, hydrothermal resources, and 3800 MWt of heating and cooling applications from geothermal energy by the same year, but currently these expectations look overestimated.

Luis Carlos Gutierrez-Negrin
Geoconsul, SA de CV

Georgina Izquierdo-Montalvo
Instituto Nacional de Electricidad y Energías Limpias

Ismael Canchola-Félix
Comisión Federal de Electricidad


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